Firefighters Charge Sex Harassment in Gay Parade

Seeking $3M in damages from San Diego in trial that starts today
By Jess Kilby,  Newser User
Posted Sep 15, 2008 4:11 AM CDT
Marchers in New York's gay pride parade carry a rainbow flag. Four California firefighters ordered to participate in the San Diego parade are suing over lewd comments.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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(Newser) – Four San Diego firefighters ordered by officials to drive their truck in the city's gay pride parade last year are suing for $3 million in damages for sexual harassment, reports the Los Angeles Times. The four, who were given their orders by the city’s lesbian fire chief, say the suit is a protest against the lewd comments lobbed at them during the parade, and is “not an anti-gay thing.” The trial starts today.

City officials accused the firefights of “money-grubbing” and said the parade is no different from other firefighting public relations duties, such as visiting schools. The firemen—backed by a group that bills itself as “the Christian answer to the ACLU"—argue that the parade is a political event that public employees should be allowed to skip.